UNESCO’s World Heritage and monuments from The Workers’ Movement
Dear members of WORKLAB
During 2008 UNESCO asked the national Heritage Agencies to evaluate the existing tentative list for the World Heritage list and at the same time find possibilities for new proposal for the tentative list in Denmark.
The Workers’ Museums recommended The Workers’ Meeting Hall in Copenhagen as a new proposal for the list.
The Workers’ Meeting Hall is a listed building from 1879. It was (we think) the fist workers’ meeting hall in NW-Europe, has functioned as such for more than one hundred years, has still – through twenty-five years of careful restoration and maintenance – a very high authenticity and is now the frame for The Workers’ Museum. I attach two pictures of the building for information.
The Heritage Agency didn’t accept the proposal as such, but recommended that The Workers’ Museum instead took the lead to organize a comparative, international analysis of the possibilities for a transnational serial-nomination of workers’ monuments worldwide.
We know several buildings in Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany, one I Australia and some in Great Britain. But there might be several other possibilities around the World.
I hope that the network in WORKLAB is able to support this action with information about buildings from the history of the workers’ movement. Please send the information to me in Copenhagen and please forward this message to any relevant colleague.
The monument should hold either a reasonable age (before WW 1) or a specific architectural significant (e.g. Bauhaus orArt Nouveau architecture), but most of all have a profound authenticity and a significant historical role in the country or the region. After all the years the ownership and now-being use can of course be a problem, but most important now is to get the monument recognized.
My plan is to get a preliminary overview now. Then invite to a seminar in the autumn for further debate and for definition of the relations to the demands from ICOMOS. And finally to deliver the suggestions to the heritage authorities before the end of this year.
The whole process towards the heritage list will take several years. It can end with no result, but if we succeed, we have given the workers history a very fine, worldwide lift – so don’t hesitate with your input.